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Feldflasche WW2 Canteen - what is it ?

Article about: Hellow mates today ive got this german ww2 canteen. Seller told me that it belonged to an Officer that served at the "Gebirgs - Pionier - Ersatz - Bataillon 54". The cap is marked

  1. #1

    Default Feldflasche WW2 Canteen - what is it ?

    Hellow mates

    today ive got this german ww2 canteen. Seller told me that it belonged to an Officer that served at the "Gebirgs - Pionier - Ersatz - Bataillon 54".

    The cap was painted black and is marked "HRE36".
    The leather straps are kinda brittle & could break i did not remove the cover to see whats beneath it.
    The aluminium hook is also marked with "RS 36 b.35" on the inside

    Seller stated that it was a "rare, early canteen, negative to UV- light". Whats up with that light-thing?

    I have read about Wehrmacht canteens, Political Canteens, HJ canteens, Tropical canteens, early and late canteens, with or without cup... and so on !!!

    So i am sort of confused, and would like to know what is it i have got, therefore i come to the REAL PROFESSIONALS.

    Any information is welcome, as i am eager to learn some more.

    Thank you Ladies & Gentlemen.

    greetings from Mexico

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  3. #2


    "Negative to UV light" just means that it does not "glow" under UV light. It was an old way of testing things for proper age and are. If something glowed under the light, it was assumed to be Post-war, as the chemicals in the cloth in older war and pre-war era pieces did Not glow. Unfortunately, this test method eventually led to all sorts of errors. If, say, a flag had gotten washed by the GI a couple years later, it would then Glow from the detergent. And, eventually, the fake makers learned how to make cloth to not glow too, so it is, basically, an obsolete test method today, but the seller of your flag must have read about it and mentioned it, not knowing it has is no longer in use anymore.
    Your canteen looks just fine and I would be more than content with it. No way to tell without markings-which it doesn't look to have had any written on it-if the story of where it came from is true, but there is no real reason to not believe it. As for the canteen itself, it has no problems. It's dated 1936, which is likely what the seller was referring to as an "early" canteen. From what I can see, it looks to be your standard Wehrmacht used canteen.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #3


    Thanks William, you are THE man !!!
    Lots of valuable info, i feel smarter now then when i started my day..

    What is a "political canteen" by the way? SA, HJ, NSDAP... and how do they differ from stardard Wehrmacht canteens?

  5. #4


    The "Wehrmacht" canteen came with a cup and a different strap system ( no 'choker strap' around the neck and a loop sewn to the felt cover on the lower front )
    The term 'political' can mean SA, RAD, DAF or the other paramilitary organizations or the DJ / HJ youth groups - all of whom carried canteens when out on "exercises".

    Regards, Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  6. #5


    So, is this a Wehrmacht Feldflasche after all - as i was told by the seller - or might it be something else then?

  7. #6


    When collecting canteens, it is Extremely difficult to place one in a single usage. You can find them being described as Hitler Youth, Early Army(as you can see, it is a leftover from the WWI designs) and just about anywhere else you want to place them. To make matters even more confusing, Germany exported something like 100,000 of these very canteens to Finland and several more places. You'll find a couple of interesting links below that should, hopefully, clear up at least Abit of the wondering. Take a look!

    My canteens

    Finnish Army WWII Pack Gear including gas masks and medical kits

    Time Traveler Militaria - WW2 German Army Canteen

    I wish we could get you a more Exact answer, but, canteens pretty much ended up going all over the place, so there is no single clear cut answer! Some, like the SS had their own stamped markings on theirs, but, for the most part, for the others, they went pretty much to the 4 winds. Everyone had canteens and they ended up in some strange places like Hitler Youth's being recovered in Stalingrad....Afrika Korp's ending up on the Russian Front, etc. We do have some pretty decent collectors here, though, like Dan above, so we'll get you about as close as we can get to what you need to know-but don't expect strict provenance!

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #7


    It is not rare....yes 1936 is early as far as WWII is concerned.
    Since 1931 the canteen that equipped the german soldier has a drinking cup and a different strap system as already mentioned in this thread.
    This one is pure political/paramilitary canteen.
    Apparently, it has some issue as the leather strap around the neck is badly damaged and the spring included in the retaining hook is dead...see the photo below

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    "I didn't use any weapon in combat during the war, but i killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of men...they're now at the bottom of the sea"
    Walter Borg (ex-MI6) Agent and radio operator in Malta, Tunisia and Italy between 1941 and 1945. Arrested twice, tortured twice, escaped twice, survived the war...

    "The future torments us, the past holds us, that is why the present escapes us."
    Gustave Flaubert

    In Memoriam :
    Laurent Huart (1964-2008)

  9. #8


    Agree political civil canteen set up wrong for military one that carries a cup as Dan already stated. timothy

  10. #9


    i guess they might have been used all over, maybe a former HJ would use his beloved canteen later on as a soldier.. well never know.. Thanks to all for all that valuable inormation.. You guys rule !!!

  11. #10


    As stated, known as a Political Canteen...SA, Hitler Youth etc...identifiable by the plain harness and lack of cup...
    Wehrmacht/Military Canteens have a different harness to accommodate the cup...
    cheers, Glenn

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